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5 useful steps to create a pumpkin stencil

Everyone has that one neighbor that decks out their drive with a number of hand crafted cucurbita maxima (that’s what they call them at least… to the rest of us, they’re pumpkins). Passersby crowd around the complex cut-out designs in wonder of their creator’s skill, to which you throw your fist in the sky and yell “curse ye neighbor! One day my pumpkins will be the talk of the neighborhood!”

Luckily, we’ve prepared a little tutorial to teach you how it’s done. The first step is to create a stencil. There are various websites online (Check out Victoria local Crafty Momma) that you can browse to find a stencil that suits your fancy. For beginners, this may be the best place to start. If you’re in for more of a challenge, follow the steps below to turn a picture of your own into the perfect pumpkin stencil.

Step 1) Find a Picture

Take or find a picture that you’d like to convert. You’ll have the best luck with images that have a lot of contrast and definition. For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll be using Andrea, our graphic designer. You’ll note that she’s reppin’ the signature halo.

Step 2) One Step Photo Edit

Next, open your favorite image editor. If you have Photoshop, awesome. If you don’t, then head on over to and click on “Open Image Editor.” Now click “Open image from computer” and locate your pic.

Step 3) Play with the Threshold

Click on the “Adjustment” tab (or the “Image > Adjustments” in Photoshop) at the top of the page…

A box should appear with a scale and numerical field. Click on the scale and drag it left and right. For this image, I found 200 to be the perfect threshold level, but every image will be different. When you’re happy with the image preview, click “OK.”

Step 4) Clean & Cut

Clean up the image with the brush tools, getting rid of artifacts that you don’t need and changing any areas that don’t look quite right. Then, click on the “Crop” button on the toolbar (highlighted below) and drag it over the image. This will effectively cut off the unnecessary space.

Step 5) Save Your Work!

Click “File” then “Save,” and click on “OK” when you’re happy with the save settings and you’re done! Find the image on the computer and print it. You may have to scale the image or take it to a printing office. Don’t worry about it getting blurry after enlargement either, it only has to give you a rough idea of where to cut.

As the social media and community coordinator at, Michael is the voice you hear when you phone our 1-800 number and the text you read skim three days a week on our blog. Keep up with his antics on Twitter @MrConkin.

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